Honda Patent Reveals Design For New, Bubbly City EV
A patent for a “four wheel vehicle” is just about as broad as you could ever dream up, outside of a patent for a “thing.” Nontheless, Honda has filed just such a patent application, and it looks like the automaker is gearing up for another tiny electric vehicle project. The patent application says that it is for, “The present invention relates to a four wheel vehicle, and in particular but not exclusively to a four wheel vehicle including an electric motor for propelling the vehicle and a battery unit for providing electric current to the electric motor,” but the images attached to the filing give away what’s really going on here. See them above and below.
The drawings hint at an updated version of either Honda’s Micro Commuter or the similar MC-β EV. Both of these vehicles were small, two-seat electric vehicles that were never produced in great numbers and were instead used for small field trials and to make appearances at auto shows. This new vehicle is designed to be, “mechanically strong, simple in structure and light in weight while requiring a minimum number of component parts.” There’s a hint of the Renault Twizy in the way the patent describes and illustrates the new EV:
Owing to the upward slant of the front side frames and the upward offset of the rear side frames, a kick-up structure is formed in the rear part of the vehicle body by using linear members without requiring any bending or connecting arrangement for the structural members. As the front side frames extend obliquely in side view, the resistance of the vehicle body against side impacts is enhanced. Owing to the trapezoidal arrangement of the front side frames in cooperation with the cross members as seen in plan view, the vehicle body is made highly resistant to deformation at the time of a frontal collision or an offset frontal collision.
In other words, it’s meant to be safe and quirky.